Joanne Wright will be the featured artist at this year’s Clearwater Children’s Art Festival. Each year a different local artist is invited to be a guest of honour at the event.
The hope is that by showcasing a different local artist each year, children in our community will be able to build connections with local artists and imagine the possibilities of pursuing art themselves.
From a child’s perspective, Joanne is magical. A couple of summers ago I brought my children over to Joanne’s house to show them a life-size pterodactyl and nest that she was creating in her garden. On the way to Joanne’s house to interview her for this article, my kids were imagining Joanne flying into the art festival on the back of her pterodactyl.
I thought this made a pretty accurate image of how children receive Joanne.
Joanne grew up in the Fraser Valley. Her art began with a weaving loom, which she experimented with for 50 years and only recently gave away. For the past 15 years, she has been creating beautiful needle felted tapestries. She gets her inspiration from the natural surroundings and is always zooming in and noticing the details in nature. Joanne likes to repurpose items and recently added corn husks in the shape of two flowers to a weathered picket fence panel to create a beautiful gate.
She has been involved in all the stages of wool processing including dyeing with natural plants. This winter she has been running a fiber art “play date” once a week, at her home, which she says has reignited her spark and creativity. She currently has a felted art piece on display in the departure lounge of the Kamloops Airport. Another piece of Joanne’s is displayed in the local Community Forest office. This piece celebrates forestry and the contributions that community forests have made to the community.
You can meet Joanne on August 8 at the eighth annual Clearwater Children’s Art Festival. The festival will take place at the Dutch Lake Community Center field from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. As well as featuring Joanne Wright, the festival will have two music concerts by Sing with Cici and 10 hands-on art stations.
The event is free thanks to the support of local businesses and organizations.